By Stephen Downes
May 27, 2004

E-Learning Strategies - Embrace or Eschew?
With all the discussions happening in Britain (and just beginning in Canada) about e-learning strategies, it seems relevant to step back for a second and ask whether we need one at all, to ask whether "e-learning [is] really so special and different from what we know about pedagogy and student learning that, instead of viewing it as an integral part of a learning and teaching strategy, it requires a special strategy all of its own?" Good summary of the arguments in favour and against, with extended discussion. I tend to lean toward the 'eschew' side, mostly because I don't work well in tandem with a 'strategy' (because such strategies almost never interpret things the way I see them) but as this item shows there is more than just my view at stake. By Derek Morrison, Auricle, May 26, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Small Technologies Loosely Joined
I just love experiments like this (and I love being able to go into the wiki to create a page I can link to in less than two minutes). In a nutshell: "We are asking the help of education oriented bloggers to remotely participate in a presentation at the June 2004 New Media Consortium." This could be a very cool experiment, so I encourage you to look at this page, which was mailed by Alan Levine today. By Alan Levine, May 27, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Blogging Behind the Firewall
A look behind the scenes at the use of blogs in a corporate environment, citing "tangible benefits" such as improved project management and the streamlining of meetings. Via Corante. By Chad Dickerson, InfoWorld, May 21, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Nomic World: By the Players, for the Players
Faculty members around the world know that the purpose of faculty meetings isn't to make decisions but rather you allow administration to say faculty were consulted when the decision is finally made. But what if you created an organization - an online organization, say - in which the members actually did make the decisions? This fascination discusses the concept of the Nomic World, first devised by Peter Suber, which allows users to take control of an online environment. Shirkey gets at some of the difficulties of such an environment(nicely, in a way that demonstrates his street cred experience with MUDs and IRC). I think there's something to this - in fact, I think there's a lot to this, since it is (eventually) the way we will govern society as a whole. By Clay Shirkey, Clay Shirky's Writings About the Internet, May 27, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

Net Traffic Shows File-sharing Undented
Various studies showing a drop in file sharing are misleading, according to this report, which cites a wider survey showing that file sharing continues unabated through networks not covered in the other studies, especially eDonkey. "The proportion of total net traffic used for peer-to-peer sharing has declined only slightly in the US over the last year, from 70 to 65 per cent. Furthermore, file-sharing in Europe has not dropped at all - it now accounts for 70 to 80 per cent of net traffic. And internet usage in both the US and Europe is still growing, meaning that file-sharing is growing overall." By Unknown, NewScientist, May 26, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

The Learning Desktop
An interesting project the NRC was involved in (though not through our office): the Learning Desktop developed at Capilano College in British Columbia is "a robust, but easy-to-use product that fulfuills the basic requirements of on-line course delivery." By Various Authors, Capilano College, May, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

New E-learning Tools
This is an interesting announcement as it signals the broad diversity of e-learning initiatives taking place today. Two Canadian universities, the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Alberta, are partnering with Zeddel, a Malaysian software provider. The project "will enable both the Malaysian and Canadian partners to leverage and test the results of their research in real-life applications with industrial partners and commercialise when viable [and] will also facilitate the upgrading of Zeddel’s Web-based learning management system (LMS) which is currently being used by two local universities." By Chandra Devi, NSTP E-Media, May 28, 2004 [Refer][Research][Reflect]

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